Alert: Eritrean Refugees in Libya Facing Torture / Forcible Return to Their Homeland

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Islamic Human Rights Commission
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12 July 2007

Alert: Eritrean Refugees in Libya Facing Torture / Forcible Return to Their Homeland

1. Background

Hundreds of Eritrean refugees in Libya, who fled their country to escape oppression, are currently detained in Libya in various detention facilities. In the past, the Libyan authorities have deported many refugees back to their homelands where they were subjected to physical abuse and some even died from inhumane treatment.

IHRC has documented in detail the plight of Eritrean refugees in a detention centre in Misratah, one of the major cities in Libya. These refugees are detained in deplorable conditions and face regular abuse from their captors. They all face imminent deportation to Eritrea where they may be arrested and tortured.

For a detailed account of the briefing, please visit: https://www.ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=2835

2. Action Required

a) Write to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your country requesting them to appeal for the welfare of the refugees in Libya.

UK campaigners can write to:

Rt. Hon. David Miliband MP
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London
SW1A 2AH

Fax: +44 0207 839 2417
Email: private.office@fco.gov.uk

b) Write to the Libyan Ambassador in your country urging him/her to treat refugees in accordance with international human rights standards.

UK campaigners can write to:

The People’s Bureau of the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
HE Mr Omar R Jelban
15 Knightsbridge
London
SW1X 7LY

Fax: +44 207 245 0588

c) Write to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and appeal to him to take urgent action regarding the state of the Eritrean refugees in Libya.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
High Commissioner Mr. Antonio Guterres
Case Postale 2500
CH-1211 Genève 2 Dépôt
Suisse.

Alternatively you can email UNHCR by visiting link http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/contact?hq=y

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Sample letters are given below for your convenience

Sample Letter to Rt. Hon David Miliband MP

[Your Name]

[Your Address]

[Date]

Rt. Hon. David Miliband MP
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London
SW1A 2AH

Dear Mr David Miliband,

Re: Eritrean Refugees in Libya Facing Torture / Forcible Return to Their Homeland

I am very concerned about the welfare of the Eritrean refugees detained in Misratah, Libya, who are currently facing impending deportation to Eritrea where they may be arrested and tortured upon arrival.

According to reports by the Islamic Human Rights Commission, several hundred Eritreans are currently detained in Misratah. There are detainees from other sub-Saharan African countries as well. The detainees are held in deplorable conditions; they are not provided with proper food, drink or medical facilities. Further, many detainees have reportedly been physically and sexually abused by the prison security guards.

The Libyan authorities have already deported many of these refugees to their countries of origin where they may have faced ill-treatment. By doing so, Libya is in breach of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Organization of African Unity Convention to which it is a state party.

I request you to urge the Libyan authorities to treat the refugees in accordance with international human rights standards and assist them in their applications for asylum. They should ensure that the refugees are given the same rights as other Libyans.

I look forward to hearing from you soon on this urgent matter,

Yours sincerely,

[Your Signature]

[Your Name]

Sample Letter to HE Mr Omar R Jelban

[Your Name]

[Your Address]

[Date]

The People’s Bureau of the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
HE Mr Omar R Jelban
15 Knightsbridge
London
SW1X 7LY

Dear Mr Omar R Jelban,

Assalam Alykum,

Re: Eritrean Refugees in Libya Facing Torture / Forcible Return to Their Homeland

I am very concerned about the welfare of the Eritrean refugees detained in Misratah, Libya, who are currently facing impending deportation to Eritrea where they may be arrested and tortured upon arrival.

According to reports by the Islamic Human Rights Commission, several hundred Eritreans are currently detained in Misratah. There are detainees from other sub-Saharan African countries as well. The detainees are held in deplorable conditions; they are not provided with proper food, drink or medical facilities. Further, many detainees have reportedly been physically and sexually abused by the prison security guards.

The Libyan authorities have already deported many of these refugees to their countries of origin where they may have faced ill-treatment. By doing so, Libya is in breach of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Organization of African Unity Convention to which it is a state party.

I urge your government to treat the refugees in accordance with international human rights standards and assist them in their applications for asylum. Please ensure that the refugees are given the same rights as other Libyans.

Yours sincerely,

[Your Signature]

[Your Name]

Sample Letter to UNHCR Mr Antonio Guterres

[Your Name]

[Your Address]

[Date]

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
High Commissioner Mr Antonio Guterres
Case Postale 2500
CH-1211 Genève 2 Dépôt
Suisse.

Dear Mr Antonio Guterres,

Re: Eritrean Refugees in Libya Facing Torture / Forcible Return to Their Homeland

I am very concerned about the welfare of the Eritrean refugees detained in Misratah, Libya, who are currently facing impending deportation to Eritrea where they may be arrested and tortured upon arrival.

According to reports by the Islamic Human Rights Commission, several hundred Eritreans are currently detained in Misratah. There are detainees from other sub-Saharan African countries as well. The detainees are held in deplorable conditions; they are not provided with proper food, drink or medical facilities. Further, many detainees have reportedly been physically and sexually abused by the prison security guards.

The Libyan authorities have already deported many of these refugees to their countries of origin where they may have faced ill-treatment. By doing so, Libya is in breach of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Organization of African Unity Convention to which it is a state party.

I request you to investigate this case and urge the Libyan authorities to treat the refugees in accordance with international human rights standards.

I look forward to hearing from you soon on this urgent matter,

Yours sincerely,

[Your Signature]

[Your Name]

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Holy Qur’an: Chapter 4, Verse 75

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